Mexico is one of the most ecologically diverse nations on the planet, with landscapes that range from rainforests to deserts and from small villages to the continent’s largest metropolis. Yet historians are only beginning to understand how people’s use of the land, extraction of its resources, and attempts to conserve it have shaped both the landscape and its inhabitants.
A Land Between Waters explores the relationship between the people and the environment in Mexico. It heralds the arrival of environmental history as a major area of study within the field of Mexican history. This volume brings together a dozen original works of environmental history by some of the foremost experts in Mexican environmental history from both the United States and Mexico.
The contributions collected in this seminal volume explore a wide array of topics, from the era of independence to the present day. Together they examine how humans have used, abused, and attended to nature in Mexico over more than two hundred years. Written in clear, accessible prose, A Land Between Waters showcases the breadth of Mexican environmental history in a way that defines the key topics in the field and suggests avenues for subsequent work. Most importantly, it assesses the impacts of environmental changes that Mexico has faced in the past with an eye to informing national debates about the challenges that the nation will face in the future.
About the Author
Christopher R. Boyer is an associate professor of history and Latin American and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of Becoming Campesinos: Politics, Identity, and Agrarian Struggle in Postrevolutionary Michoacán, 1920-1935.
Table of Contents
1 The Cycles of Mexican Environmental History Christopher R. Boyer 1
2 Downslope and North: How Soil Degradation and Synthetic Pesticides Drove the Trajectory of Mexican Agriculture through the Twentieth Century Angus Wright 22
3 Mexico's Breadbasket: Agriculture and the Environment in the Bajío Martín Sánchez Rodríguez 50
4 Nature as Subject and Citizen in the Mexican Botanical Garden, 1787-1829 Rick A. López 73
5 Besieged Forests at Century's End: Industry, Speculation, and Dispossession in Tlaxcala's La Malintzin Woodlands, 1860-1910. José Juan Juárez Flores 100
6 Water and Revolution in Morelos, 1850-1915 Alejandro Tortolero Villaseñor 124
7 King Henequen: Order, Progress, and Ecological Change in Yucatán, 1850-1950 Sterling Evans 150
8 Class and Nature in the Oil Industry of Northern Veracruz, 1900-1938 Myrna I. Santiago 173
9 Parables of Chapultepec: Urban Parks, National Landscapes, and Contradictory Conservation in Modern Mexico Emily Wakild 192
10 The Illusion of National Power: Water Infrastructure in Mexican Cities, 1930-1990 Luis Aboites Aguilar 218
11 Episodes of Environmental History in the Gulf of California: Fisheries, Commerce, and Aquaculture of Nacre and Pearls Mario Monteforte Micheline Cariño 245
12 Conclusion: Of the "Lands in Between" and the Environments of Modernity Cynthia Radding 277
About the Contributors 297